Healthy Recipe: Turchetta with Polenta & Baby Broccoli

Traditional porchetta is made from pork belly, rolled up into a salty and fatty bundle. Swapping in turkey breast makes it much leaner, and you can still enjoy the festive seasonings, sprinkling the layers with fennel and citrus. Spiraled into a golden roast, it’s a stunning and nourishing centerpiece for any special occasion.


1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
5 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 turkey breast, deboned and butterflied (2–3 lb/1–1.5 kg)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches baby broccoli
4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) chicken stock, reduced sodium
1 cup (7 oz/220 g) quick-cooking polenta

In the bowl of a mini food processor, combine the fennel, rosemary, and chile flakes and pulse to combine and break into smaller pieces, 30 seconds. Add the garlic and lemon zest and pulse to form a paste.

Lay the turkey breast skin-side down on a work surface. If your butcher didn’t already do it, remove any bones, and cut the breast in half and lay it open, like a book. Using a rolling pin, pound to an even thickness. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and rub down with the paste. Roll the turkey breast into a cylinder, leaving the skin on the outside, and tying in a few places with kitchen twine to secure. Season the outside with another ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Refrigerate uncovered until ready to roast, at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Place the turchetta on a roasting pan fitted with a rack, and brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast until the skin starts to render and turn golden, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F (180°C) and continue to roast until the turchetta is firm and no longer pink at the center, and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F (74°C), about 30 minutes longer. Let the turchetta rest for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the broccoli and polenta. Place the broccoli on a baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until bright green and tender-crisp, 20 minutes. Drizzle with the lemon juice. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then whisk in the polenta. Cook until tender and thick, according to package instructions.

Carve the turchetta into thick slices. Spoon the polenta onto plates and place the turchetta and broccoli on the side. Grind with pepper and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts (per serving; makes 8 servings)

Calories 270
Protein 27 g
Total fat 8 g
Saturated fat 1 g
Carbs 19 g
Fiber 2 g
Total sugars 1 g
Added sugars 0 g
Sodium 680 mg

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